Following last week’s public hearings for their seal study, the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans says sealers and fishers are suffering as Ottawa turns a blind eye to booming seal populations.
The fact-finding mission in the province took place September 11-13 as part of a seal populations study that started in fall 2022. The senators visited the harbour in Port de Grave, the John C. Crosbie Sealers Interpretation Centre in Elliston, the Carino processing plant in South Dildo and more. The committee’s visit concluded with public hearings in St. John’s where the committee heard from experts in the industry.
With the estimated Northwest Atlantic seal population at more than seven million and growing, Deputy Chair Bev Busson says ignoring Canada’s immense seal population isn’t a sustainable strategy.
Chair Fabian Manning says the committee has built a deep understanding of the issues and are invested in developing solutions in a timely manner.
The committee is calling on the federal government to step up as a champion for the sealing industry. a report including detailed recommendations for Ottawa is expected in March 2024.